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Re:Daniel's tank

> Waterparameters:
> Ph. 6.8
> Kh.3.5
> Gh.7.5
> NO2: <0.3 mg/l
> NO3: aprox. 6.0 hard to get an exact reading from the Tetra test I use.The
> colourchart jump from 0 to 12.5 mg/l in 1step.

I would suggest another more precise and accurate test kit. I believe LaMott
does or can send you a kit there in Europe.
It's worth the money on this parameter.

> PO4:< 0.5 mg/l
> CO2: 16 mg/l
> Fe: < 0.25 mg/l
> Filters: one Eheim ( 600 l/ h ) with Effihsubstrate and bioballs and one
> Eheim ( 200 L/ h ) with black peat granulates.

All fine here.
> The tank has been  running for 18 months now. All the time I've been having
> some trouble with algae , some green algae ( leaves close to surface) , a
> small amount of brush algae ( on bogwood and Anubias) and silicate algae(
> is this the correct name for it in english ? ) on my Alternanthera and
> Ludwigia glandulosa perennis but not in excess.

CO2 is most likely your problem. Typically, you don't get all these types
without a CO2 problem being involved. Make sure your CO2 is 16ppm or mg/l
all day and not just first thing in the morning etc. Try to see what it is
at night before the lights go out and in the morning and adjust it etc as
best you can. Make sure the CO2 rich waters get well mixed. If your pH moves
too much throughout the daily cycle you may want to adjust it.
You may need some fast growers in the tank. The plants mentioned are not
particularly fast growing(Ludwigia and the Anubias). Your silicate algae is
often called brown algae and are diatoms. Otocinclus catfish eat this and
will remove it. SAE's will eat Black brush algae.
> I had  6 SAE but I found
> that they liked my Crypto sprouts so I took them out.

They were not true SAE's then. They will never eat a Cryptocoryne...  ever
unless the crypt is dying anyway. Check the web site on SAE's. You likely
have something else. Very very few fish will eat crypts as it is. AF rift
cichlids don't even eat most of them. I suppose a Pacu or a Distochodus
might. Likely due to your CO2 dropping and stunting them and the sword.

> All the time my big
> problem been my big Ech.plants.They never grown as they should, small
> stunted leaves that looked like A. Madagascariensis after a while. No
> trouble with E. tenellus or E. magdalenensis  All the light demanding
> plants where ok. ( I had E. stellata, L.aromatica, D. diandra, R.
> Wallichii.  Riccia that looked like the photos in the Amano books) .

Do you move the plants around much?
Swords are very tough plants in a CO2, good lighted tank. Big swords are
heavy feeders and need a large amount of "food and nutrients". Some folks
add Jobes plant sticks to the root system.

> All along I've also been having trouble whith keeping the Ph. down on the
> levels where I want it.The only answer I can think of is that there is
> something in the gravel that's pushing the Ph. up.

Once again the CO2 issue rears it's ugly head:) It had little to do with
your Mg or the nutrient mix really. Lack of Mg is worse than excess. It may
have helped some but it's really hard to say since the pH, and hence the
CO2, is too low.

> Though the Gh. and the
> Kh. is at the same level all the time.The tapwater I have has a Ph.: 7.9
> Gh.: 6.0, Kh.: 3.0, NO2.: > 0.3, NO3.: aprox. 6,0, PO4.: 0.25, Fe.: 0,0,
> CO2.: 0.8

Since you have a CO2 tank and needle valve simply add more CO2. Bring it up
to about 25ppm or so. If it drops to about 12 or so at night that's fine.
Keep an eye on it.

> Now I had it with this. I'm anyway forced to move the tank so I'm going to
> redo the tank completly.

Get a good substrate if possible.

> But before I do that I would like to know , if possible, why my  big Ech.
> looked like they did, and still do to some extent. They are slowly coming
> back but far from what they should look like ( nutrient deff. for sure,
> but which one?) My guess now would be that it is K. But  I,m not sure .
> And why did the tank explode? Does anybody have a clue/ guess please answer
> this!

CO2 and build up of nutrient. Your tank stopped using the nutrient that you
had been adding all along. As the CO2 levels dropped- so the the amount of
nutrients being consumed. Once that happens, the algae takeover since the
plants are not using it. This is why CO2 is always the first place to look
if you have a problem with algae. Nutrient deficient tanks often have far
less intense algae problems and the plants look funny and pale.
Extra K+ would always help a tank. You make consider adding some but your
big issue is still the CO2. 90-95% of algae issues can be traced to CO2 and
generally a lack of it or not enough carbonate hardness. Your tap water is
great though.
> I don't want to make the same stupid mistake again.
> I,m also having trouble finding a supplier for most of the ingrediens in
> the PMDD formula,

Well you already are using Tropica master which I use liberally as well.
This is good stuff and will simplify your unknowns. I'd stick with it if I
were you. You could add some extra K+ in the form of K2SO4 that should be
easy to find and is quite cheap. You could add about a 1 teaspoon a week or
about 5 grams or so to your tank. This is not a critical level or amount but
extra always helps. TMG has some K+ in there also and should have plenty of
Mg also as does your tap water generally. If you need some more NO3 add more
fish food etc.
Your sword just doesn't like the CO2 being lowered. Kind of like cutting off
your air supply. If that happens it doesn't matter how much food they give
you. You will still be in bad shape. The new stunted leaves will not change
back but the new growth after this will be fine. It just takes some time for
the new growth to appear.

> Daniel Orloff

Lighting is almost never the problem unless you have too little or lots of
lights etc or really play with the timing. Try 10-12 hours or so.

Get your CO2 in shape(15-25ppm range), perhaps fluff up/vacuum your gravel's
top 3-4cm  some (say a 1/4 or so of the tank every week) followed by a water
change and an algae cleaning/trim.
Add TMG and fish food and some K2SO4. That should take care of you pretty
Good luck. 
Tom Barr